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A tale of two towns – why are Killarney’s projects put on the long-finger?

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STANDSTILL: Our 2017 design show the site's potential but there is still no movement on what will happen with the Áras Phádraig.

 

 

It seems the powers that be are putting projects in Killarney on the long-finger while similar ideas in other towns get pushed through at a much faster rate.

In the first of a two-part series, the Killarney Advertiser’s Sean Moriarty exposes why this town is left floundering as other towns push ahead and reap the rewards.

In Part One we look at how substantial land donations by two very different institutions, one unique to Killarney and the other, a global business giant based in Tralee, had polar opposite outcomes.

The Áras Phádraig on the Lewis Road, a former popular community centre has been idle since May 2009 when the Franciscan Brothers transferred ownership of the facility to the municipal council.

Five years later, Kerry Group, the global food giant with its world headquarters in Tralee, donated its former Denny’s Meat factory site at the Island of Geese in the town centre to its home town.

At the latest meeting of Killarney Municipal Council, the elected members were told: “Kerry County Council has appointed Reddy A&U Architects to prepare a development plan for the Áras Phádraig site and adjoining car park. A number of options are being considered for the development. An economic and financial Cost Benefit Analysis is being carried out on each of these options in accordance with the requirements of the Public Spending Code”.

Meanwhile, in Tralee, last February Kerry County Council and the Tralee Municipal District unveiled plans for the Island of Geese site including a three-storey office block; a large park and public realm area featuring a children's play area; public seating and an amphitheatre with curved seating.

Elected members of Tralee Municipal District approved these plans in early July. Tralee is pushing on with its plans to redevelop a donated site. Killarney is still in the “development plan stage” despite having a five year head start over the county town.

In fairness, the Áras Phádraig site hit a legal hitch connected with the charity status of either the donator or the receiver - but surely Tralee hit similar snags along the way?

It took until 2017 before the legal hitch could be overcome in Killarney, but three years down the road we are still no closer to getting this important facility, which is fast becoming an eyesore, off the ground. Three years ago, the design team at the Killarney Advertiser came up with our own concept – so why is this project so far away from being even started, not to mind finished?

It took Tralee less than six years to get from the point of receiving the donation to approving plans.

Nearly 12 years on, and Killarney remains in the planning stages and we are asking whose responsibility is this and who is going to step up and make this happen now and not dilly-dally for God knows how long more.

HAVE YOUR SAY: What is your Killarney view? Email sean@killarneyadvertiser.ie.

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Weird and wonderful insurance policies

As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note. Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites. Here are some of the […]

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As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note.

Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites.

Here are some of the more interesting and obscure insurance policies put in place over the years.
· David Beckham insured his legs with Lloyds for £100m in 2006

· Dolly Parton has insured her 40dd breasts for £3.8m

· Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards hands are insured for $1.6m

· Michael Flatleys legs were insured for $47 Million. The policy was only in effect when he was touring and forbade him from dancing except on stage.

· James Dean took out a life policy for $100,000 just a week before his tragic death at the age of 25

· The actor Richard Burton purchased a 69.42 carat diamond from Cartier for $1.1 Million in 1969 as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor. It was the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. Once Lloyds had insured the diamond they specified that Taylor should wear it in public for only 30 days a year and even then be protected by security guards. The diamond was sold in 1978 for an estimated $5 Million which would equate to roughly $19 Million today.

· According to novelist and inventor Arthur C Clarke, director Stanley Kubrick wanted to take out insurance with Lloyds to protect himself against losses in the event that extra-terrestrial intelligence was discovered before his movie, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ was released. Lloyds refused to quote for this one.

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Kerry to feature in new TG4 documentary on Wild Atlantic Way

Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry. The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry. In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains […]

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Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry.

The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry.

In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains an insight into the culture, challenges and benefits of living by the Atlantic and to find out if seawater still flows through the veins of its coastal communities.

On her travels, Áine will meet with the people of the coast, both young and old. She will spend time in the company of people who live and work by the sea, learning more about the attraction of these areas, and this life, through their eyes, stories and experiences. She will meet those communities and people who have a strong affinity with the coast and the sea, through new businesses, traditional livelihoods, recreational activities, ecology, birdwatching, eco-tours, swimming, boats (of all kinds) and more.

Áine began her journey at home in Gaoth Dobhair and heads to the wilds of Árainn Mhóir on the second leg of journey.
The third show platforms south Donegal while in week 4, Áine heads to the beautiful Achill Island.

Half way through her journey from Donegal to Kerry, Áine is in Carna in Conamara while in the the sixth programme, Áine continues her journey on the Galway coast, this time in Cois Fharraige

Áine visits Inis Oírr in the seventh programme, the smallest of the three Oileán Árainn, to explore how life has changed for islanders in recent generations through fishing, farming, tourism and sport.

In programme eight, Áine continues her journey, heading for the West Kerry coastline this time around, rowing with a local musician, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, a boatbuilder Eddie Hutch and even All-Ireland champions in Cumann Rámhaíochta an Daingin. She investigates the attraction of sea swimming for local women with local group ‘Snámh for the Soul’ goes foraging and paddleboarding with a woman who lives and breathes the sea and all it has to offer, Susan Feirtéar.

In the penultimate programme, Áine continues on her journey around the Corca Dhuibhne coast, exploring the history of trade in An Daingean with Brenda Uí Shúilleabháin and how the coast inspires artists with the talented Tomáisín Ó Cíobháin. She takes a class with local yoga instructor, Ails Ní Chonchúir and heads out to sea with local guide, Eoghan Ó Slatara, to learn about the islands on the west Kerry coast and she tastes some local seafood but she has to cook it first at the Dingle Cookery School.

Áine ends her journey in Uíbh Ráthach, in South Kerry. She gains a different perspective on the sea while snorkling with Gráinne Ní Ailín from Sea Synergy and surfing with Cian O’Connor, explores the long history of this coastal community from the time of the Milesians with poet and historian, Paddy Bushe, and learns about the Seine boat with a local TikToker, Séaghan Ó Suilleabháin, better known as The Kerry Cowboy, and is there a better way to finish her journey than a first visit to the majestic Sceilg islands?

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